The Lore of Prometheus
I have to say from the outset that I liked The Lore of Prometheus from the first page. John Carver immediately sucked me in with his droll narration of the situation that he found himself in.
Looking at other reviews, I have seen it described as Urban Fantasy, Military Fantasy, but personally I haven’t got a clue how to categorise this thriller that has characters that have extra sensory powers. If you are coming to this expecting something like the Dresden Files, then I suggest you leave that coat at the door and step into Graham Austin King’s The lore of Prometheus with a whole new mindset.
It’s a long time since I read a book like this. It definitely falls into the thriller end of things and starts with our titular hero, John Carver down on his luck at the gambling tables, owing money to loan sharks, and pretty much in Shitsville.
He is ex - military and his only skill is geared towards these kind of jobs. Down on his luck, owing money to some pretty hard arsed loan sharks and experiencing some pretty bad PTSD, he gets himself a job babysitting a foreign national in Karbul, Afghanistan. Not a good place to be as John Carver did many tours there, and it has left him changed. In more ways than one!
As a child of the seventies, I was about ten when the incident with the Iranian Embassy occurred and used to devour books about the SAS and other types of thrillers that had a military edge (it does so happen that this incident is mentioned in the book), so The Lore of Prometheus was right up my alley.
However, at times , I did get some whiffs of british noir type feelings to it. Particularly in the beginning when the book is based in England. It gave me a Get Carter kind of tone, and I think that that might have been down to its main character. However, the book changes as the story progresses. Especially when the setting moves to Kabul and the main character takes a job as a security advisor and then changes again when it gets to the final act of the book.
The book revolves around two main characters, John Carver and Mackenzie, and we see the action through both of these characters' eyes, but in different ways. In John's case, we see the story occurring through his eyes in the first person, whilst the viewpoint shifts when we come to Mackenzie and the viewpoint moves to the third person. This is something that I have seen in a number of books recently, and I found that Graham Austin King pulled this off effectively, and it added to the whole feel of the book.
I have to mention that Graham Austin King writes so perfectly in The Lore of Prometheus. I was so impressed with so many things. He manages to keep the pace maintained throughout the book. Never once did I feel a lull in the story. When it comes to Mackenzie’s storyline he effectively highlights the disorientation that the character is experiencing, drip feeding little bits of information to both the reader and the character, maintaining the tension of her imprisonment.
With a book like this, there is a temptation for authors to give big info dumps about military life and weapons etc, but Austin King successfully dodges these temptations and gives the necessary information as part of the story rather than risk derailing the plot with big info dumps. He introduces just the right amount of humour, particularly the scene with the discussion on IKEA meatballs, which I found hilarious.
His characters have depth and are distinguished. And particularly, when the bad guys are introduced, they don’t fall into parody, but are realistic and nuanced. Even the members of Carver’s squad have their own individuality and are intrinsic to the plot.
Additionally, Austin - King manages to convey the richness of the world that the story is based in. At parts I was having to take my jumper off because I was getting too hot at his descriptions of the oppressive heat of Kabul.
If you like your fantasy hard boiled, your characters harder and a plot that is full of pace, you can’t go wrong with The Lore of Prometheus.